For more information

    Sally Spencer

    Phone: 720.244.6535


Didi Hirsch Suicide Prevention Trainings: Survivors of Suicide Attempts Support Group Facilitator Training


Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services has created a 2-day training designed to prepare those interested in developing and facilitating the Survivors of Suicide Attempts Support Group. Training participants will learn techniques for assessing and managing risk and will gain a thorough understanding of the structure and content of the group as described in The Manual for Support Groups for Suicide Attempt Survivors.

Limited to the first 24 people to register.


Shari Sinwelski, MS/Ed.S., has been working in the field of suicide prevention since 1994 and currently serves as the Associate Project Director for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, where she oversees networks operations and best practices for its network of 165 crisis centers. She founded one of the nation’s first Survivors of Suicide Attempt’s support group and co-authored the accompanying training manual which has recently been accepted to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s Best Practices Registry.  

Ideal training candidates:

  • Individuals who have training or experience in providing suicide intervention
  • Individuals who have experience facilitating support groups or other group activities
  • Individuals whose beliefs and attitudes about suicide align with the mission and values 

About the Survivors of Suicide Attempts Support Group

​The time after a suicide attempt can be very confusing and filled with lots of conflicting emotions. Typically the pain and problems that lead a person to consider suicide are still present and are compounded by reactions of family and friends. Many attempt survivors feel embarrassed, ashamed or guilty about their attempt. Some feel angry that they are still alive. Others are grateful that they survived and are determined to find the reasons they are still here.

Because of the discrimination and prejudice associated with suicide, many suicide attempt survivors feel very alone and don’t know where to turn. Talking with others who have similar experiences can be an important part of healing after a suicide attempt. Didi Hirsch's Survivor of Suicide Attempt Support groups offer a safe, non-judgmental place for people to talk about the feelings that led them to attempt suicide and to talk about the impact that their attempt had on their lives.

Groups are typically composed of five to eight people who have survived a suicide attempt or who are struggling with persistent thoughts of suicide. The same people will be in a group for the entire eight weeks; it is not a "drop-in" group. This allows group members to develop safe, secure bonds with each other, thereby improving their healing process.

Groups are facilitated by a therapist with expertise in suicide intervention. Often, there are members who have completed several cycles of the eight week group, who can serves as mentors to newer members.

Group meetings provide a time for members to discuss the challenges and successes that they are facing following their suicide attempt. Members can share stories and strategies for survival. The facilitators will lead discussions to help members better recognize what led to their suicide attempt and incorporate other ways to relieve the pain that may have led to their attempt.

Traveling Together: Collaborative & Systemic Approaches to Youth Suicide Prevention


Every mental health professional works with the crisis of suicide. Collaboration between professionals and those affected by the suicidal crisis is essential for short-term safety and long-term well-being. Particularly when we work with youth, professional responses have to be collaborative and systemic. Although that sounds good on paper, professionals tend to work in silos that sometimes communicate, but rarely collaborate. For example, nearly half of all suicidal youth are first identified in school settings, and yet hospitals, community mental health, and schools rarely collaborate on assessment, treatment, or discharge and follow-up. Suicidal youth live in families, and yet most of the treatments developed for suicidal youth focus on the individual. We talk a great deal about the risk factors and warning signs for suicide, but rarely address how to heal a family and community in the aftermath of a suicide. In this workshop you will learn how to think systemically and collaboratively when working with youth suicide. You will learn essential components of suicide risk assessment among youth in general and high-risk groups, including LGBTQ youth and youth struggling with addiction. You will learn how to use a suicide risk monitoring tool to track changes in youth well-being.  You will learn how Attachment-Based Family Therapy integrates attachment theory and family systems theory to strengthen the parent-child relationship and reduce suicide ideation and depression in youth. You will learn how to schools and communities can collaborate in the aftermath of a youth suicide. Finally, you will learn about current and promising social media and computer-based approaches to suicide prevention.


After the workshop, participants will be able to: 

  • list basic facts about the epidemiology and risk factors for death by suicide. 
  • debunk suicide-related myths 
  • discuss the key components to youth suicide prevention, assessment, intervention, and postvention 
  • describe the five tasks of attachment-based family therapy for suicidal youth. 
  • recognize social media and computer-based approaches to suicide prevention.​

Copies of Dr. Singer's book Suicide in Schools: A practitioner’s guide to multi-level prevention, assessment, intervention and postvention will be available for purchase on-site. Cash or check only.


Friday, February 3rd, 2017 

Dr. Jonathan Singer